Friday, July 15, 2011

Van Voorhees, Van Voorhuis, Van Vorheese, Van Voorhies, Omit the Van & Repeat…OMG

Stop the madness.

According to The Van Voorhees Association’s website, here are the spelling variations found in the US:

Van Voorhees, Voorhees, 
Van Voorhies, Voorhies, 
Van Vorhies, Vorhies, 
Van Voorhis, Voorhis, 
Voorheas, Voorhease, Voorheese, 
Voorheez, Voorheis, Voorhes, Voorhies, 
Vorhees, Voorhis, Vorhes, Van Voris, Voris,
 Vooris, Voress, Vorys, Vorhis, Voris, 
Vories, Voreese, Vores, Vorheis, Vorres, Van Vorous, Vorous, 
Voras, Voorus
, Van Voorkiss
, Vource, Vorce 
I’m starting with my 3x great-grandmother, Charity “Gitty” Voorhees, who was born in New Jersey in 1779, and later moved to New York, and then on to Michigan with her husband George Ditmars, where she died in 1852.   With them begins (or ends, depending on the perspective) the pure Dutch heritage in my family.  (Hmm.  As a kid, one of my absolutely favorite books and a well-loved movie was Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates.  You know, doing family research makes me wonder sometimes how many of our preferences get hard-wired in our brains)

In my search for Charity’s father, I found a couple of resources, including the Genealogy of the Van Voorhees Family in America by Elias Van Voorhis.  According to this book, Charity was the daughter of Coert Van Voorhees.  But, I had other information suggesting her father was Isaac Voorhees.  Then I found Isaac’s Revolutionary War pension application and it had a wonderful family record included.  Charity was Isaac’s daughter and it included her birth date and the date of her marriage to George Ditmars.  So, while the Van Voorhees book traces the line back to the original immigrant, my connection is broken because of this faulty information in this one source.  At the Van Voorhees website, there are reference CDs available for purchase, but it’s a little beyond my budget.  Isaac, his daughter Charity, and granddaughter Ellen are in the index for the 9th generation CD, so I feel like my answer is probably there.

So, in all likelihood, this line will trace back to Steven Coerts Van Voorhees who was born in 1600 in the Netherlands, immigrated to America (New Amsterdam) in 1660, and died in 1684.

At some point I’ll come back to this to confirm each generation and to pick up additional Dutch lines to research.  Now that I’ve done my 3x great-grandparents, George Ditmars and Charity Voorhees, all lines back from them will be colonial Dutch.   At some point I’ll do a series on my colonial Dutch roots. That way, once I start, I can stay focused on that time period and research will be more efficient.

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